Flying Under The Radar – Airports are at The Cutting Edge of Business Technology
Staying on the cutting edge of customer service and business tech is almost an art form, especially for large companies that have to have to make constant changes and updates in order to remain agile. You might not think it at first, but no industry has worked harder or had more success at staying ahead of the curve on amenities and customer experience than the airort industry. Airports have moved the bar on programmable signs, automated bathrooms, streamlined transportation, and are bringing subtle luxury to the very utilitarian business of getting people from place to place.
Over the decades, it can clearly be seen that department stores, shopping malls, and even online venues have begun mimicing innovations and upgrades perfected in airports. When online business became possible, so too did checking in and printing your boarding pass through an airline web portal. When mobile apps connected businesses to everyone’s cellphone, airports were on the ball with online apps for everything from booking tickets to double-checking your terminal while in the airport. By integrating with the sharing economy, airports have even made it possible to order meals delivered to your terminal ten minutes before boarding time so you have a fresh plane meal. That’s right – GrubHub and Uber Eats copied airports!
With this kind of reputation for innovation in high-volume customer service, it’s only natural that airports would also be among the first to introduce 3D interactive map apps for their flyers. This simple addition of modern rendering and assistive software to websites, mobile apps, and live map boards will once again significantly upgrade the airport customer experience.
How 3D Interactive Map Apps Will Transform the Airports Experience:
1) Detailed Visual Driving Directions
There’s no doubt about it – the single most complicated thing about interacting with an airport is figuring out where to drive your car! There are dozens of terminals, parking garages, pick up, drop off, public transport, and passing through options in an airport, and many people who are perfectly capable drivers in any other environment can get completely overwhelmed trying to find the right path to take.
Modern GPS directions have already worked wonders for getting around an airport, but they don’t tend to handle looping and overlapping pathways well. A 3D rendering can conquer this challenge by showing drivers exactly which path to take to get to their friend’s pick up or the right long-term parking garage near their terminal. The right guidance feature in your airport’s 3D interactive mobile app can be the difference between stressed out people parked on the side of the road and a smooth flow of confident traffic.
2) Finding the Perfect Open Parking Spot
In an ideal airport situation, everyone is dropped off or picked up so that as few cars as possible actually stay in the parking garages and lots. However, in reality, many people need to park for anywhere from fifteen minutes to six months depending on their personal circumstances and airport parking garages are often packed. By combining your security system with a smart interactive map, you can track open spots and guide customers to them, saving everyone minutes – or even hours – of slowly looking for an opening near the elevators.
The 3D interactive parking map not only highlights open parking spots, but can also block off areas that are full and help you track how long each vehicle has been in place. The same app can be used to assist returning passengers in determining where they parked their cars at the beginning of the journey.
3) Highlighting Opportunities like Curb Check and Automated Kiosks
Often times, delays that occur in an airport are caused by passengers not realizing how to use the system efficiently. They wind up in help lines because they’re lost instead of making a B-line for the open self-serve kiosks. It is in ever airport’s best interest to get people through the tedious part of checking in and to the fun part of browsing the shops as quickly as possible, and then to ensure everyone has a good time inside.
To this end, you can use a 3D interactive map app that tracks passenger locations through their mobile device to highlight the services and opportunities you offer for their convenience. Curbside baggage check terminals will light up on their apps to help passengers get rid of their heavy luggage. Automated terminals will be highlighted to help them move quickly away from long waiting lines. When customers get inside, you can highlight other useful features like phones, bathrooms, device vending machines, and help desks.
4) Guidance to the Right Security Line
Security lines are another major slow-down and hassle for most people who go through airports. In fact, they are well known to be the least liked aspect of flying across the globe. While security is a necessity, your interactive map can help passengers choose the right line for their circumstances. Pre-screened passengers can be quickly directed through the pass through, families and the handicapped can be directed to a line with wider spaces, and everyone else can be filed into whichever line is moving the fastest.
You may even be able to improve your security line efficiency with the ability to direct passengers through their 3D interactive apps. Experienced flyers with one bag and easy to remove shoes can be directed to an express line, as can people whose apps confirm that they are genuinely late for their flight.
5) 3D Map of Shops and Restaurants in the Sky Mall
For many people, the absolute best part about flying is the beautifully decorated, pristinely clean, and always interesting sky mall. The colorful combination of restaurants, gift shops, specialty stores, newsstands, and opportunistic attractions is a delight to walk through, explore, and spend a little discretionary budget on. However, this also introduces one of the biggest airport challenges that can occur past security: actually finding the stores you want to visit! Airports can be enormous, and most of the time, there is only one of each venue in the facility.
One of the best uses for a 3D interactive map of your airport is to help passengers find the restaurants and specialty gift shops they’re looking for. With a detailed look at every shop and a few helpful features for sorting and selecting venues, you can leave the days of bumbling and traffic jams at the map signs behind.
This is Just the Beginning of the Benefits!
A good map has always been at the heart of an enjoyable airport experience and airports have always been ready to upgrade their maps whenever possible to make it easier and more convenient to get around. Online maps and mobile maps are only the beginning, and with 3D rendering and pathing technology from Concept3D, you can make your maps completely responsive to the customers and show them exactly where to go every time.
Join us next time for the second half of this two part article to see even more things you can do with 3D maps to improve the airport experience!